Liverpool (DVD Review)23 Nov, 2010 By: Angelique Flores
In Spanish with English subtitles.
Watching Liverpool is like watching someone go about daily life through a hidden camera. It almost seems wrong to watch, but you can’t peel your eyes from the screen. The main character, Farrel (Juan Fernandéz), is a sailor in a cargo ship that stops near his hometown. He takes a short leave to head home to the sleepy town Tierra del Fuego and see his dying mother.
Farrel doesn’t get any sort of welcome home party. His father questions his return, his mother’s illness prevents her from remembering him and his daughter is mentally disabled and doesn’t seem to know who he is.
As uneventful as Farrel’s return is his departure.
The viewer is left to assume that Farrel runs away again to avoid having to take care of his daughter and his aging parents.
In this painstakingly slow film with scant dialogue, there are no discussions, no answers and no judgments. Still, the minimalist film is confident in what it offers. It seems the filmmaker wants to provoke the viewer to fill in the blanks and look for the beauty in the raw, everyday lives of these people in the small sawmill town Tierra del Fuego. Perhaps it’s because Fernandéz is a first-time actor that he seems so natural, so real.
The interview with Argentinian director Lisandro Alonso (La Libertad, Los Muertos) included inside the DVD packaging, helps explain a little bit more about the characters.
If you like arthouse, slice-of-life type of films, this is one to check out. Much of what goes on during the film is mundane, but it’s real stuff to which most people can relate.